Nasty ransomware overwrites your PC's master boot record

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  1. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 34,580
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18290
       28 Mar 2016 #1

    Nasty ransomware overwrites your PC's master boot record

    Itís hard enough for non-technical users to deal with ransomware infections: understanding public-key cryptography, connecting to the Tor anonymity network and paying with Bitcoin cryptocurrency. A new malicious program now makes it even more difficult by completely locking victims out of their computers.

    The new Petya ransomware overwrites the master boot record (MBR) of the affected PCs, leaving their operating systems in an unbootable state, researchers from antivirus firm Trend Micro said in a blog post.

    The MBR is the code stored in the first sectors of a hard disk drive. It contains information about the diskís partitions and launches the operating systemís boot loader. Without a proper MBR, the computer doesnít know which partitions contain an OS and how to start it.

    Trend Micro researchers say Petya is distributed through spam emails that masquerade as job applications. This suggests that its creators target businesses in particular, with the messages being directed at human resources departments.

    The emails have a link to a shared Dropbox folder that contains a self-extracting archive posing as the applicantís CV and a fake photo. If the archive is downloaded and executed, the ransomware is installed.

    The malicious program will rewrite the computerís MBR and and will trigger a critical Windows error that will cause the computer to rebootóa condition known as a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).

    Following this initial reboot, the rogue MBR code will display a fake Windows check disk operation that normally occurs after a hard disk error, according to computer experts from popular tech support forum

    During this operation, the ransomware actually encrypts the master file table (MFT). This is a special file on NTFS partitions that contains information about every other file: their name, size and mapping to the hard disk sectors...

    Read more: This nasty ransomware overwrites your PC's master boot record | PCWorld
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  2. richc46's Avatar
    Posts : 115
    Windows 10 Clean Install
       28 Mar 2016 #1

    Trying to stay one step ahead of ransomware and other nasties, I make a weekly backup, run a quality antivirus, malwarebytes and stay away from sites that I feel might be unsafe.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. gregyurkon's Avatar
    Posts : 484
    Windows 10.0.17134.48 (1803) Home 64-bit
       28 Mar 2016 #2

    I do daily backups, and when I remember to, I use a VM for questionable sites and software.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. 200motels's Avatar
    Posts : 34
    Linux Mint 17.3, Windows 10 and 7 Pro
       28 Mar 2016 #3

    This a good one to install. Downloading Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. COMPUTIAC Guest
       28 Mar 2016 #4
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    28 Mar 2016 #5

    Looks like hacking got more sophisticated
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  7. Posts : 135
    Windows 10 Enterprise (64-bit)
       28 Mar 2016 #6

    Have a backup image in hand and get your self a copy of " Sandboxie Control 5.10 latest version " and educate your self, via you tube instruction's and you wont ever have one worry about getting nailed by any of these evil and criminal engineered attacks on any or your devices...

    Like I have said before it takes me at least three days to set up a clean install and configured to my taste " if no back up in in hand "

    Sandboxie is the most import protection on the market if you educate yourself in how it works and the ins and outs " been using this very fine app for the last 8 years and hands down " not one glitch or a fatal attack on any of my toys " Windows, Mac, and Linux and on a couple of smartphones powered by android

    Deep Freeze is also a must have asset
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Pendaws's Avatar
    Posts : 314
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit 1809 (17763.55)
       28 Mar 2016 #7

    I use Malwarebytes and Avast Pro AV. Avast comes with a browser, Safe Zone it is called.
    I NOW backup after a little problem about 2 weeks ago. I do hope I am SAFE. :)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    28 Mar 2016 #8

    Now to clarify aren't most newer systems UEFI, which no longer uses the MBR method? and thus making the virus non-invasive?

    I thought that was, in part, one of the purposes of UEFI?
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  10.    29 Mar 2016 #9

    Trust_No1 said: View Post
    Now to clarify aren't most newer systems UEFI, which no longer uses the MBR method? and thus making the virus non-invasive?

    I thought that was, in part, one of the purposes of UEFI?
    Yes. If you installed Windows via UEFI then that ransomware doesn't do anything since EFI doesn't use boot sectors such as the MBR and uses a EFI file located on the partition. It also helps to have Secure Boot enabled since that also prevents any tampering with the EFI files.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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